There are many drugs available to treat a host of diseases and health conditions that require a prescription before the drugs may be obtained. Only a treating physician or those who are licensed to work under the physician such as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner can legally write a prescription. Obtaining prescriptions from a family member, a friend, a co-worker or anyone not legally licensed to write a prescription is considered illegal and indeed foolish.
Prescriptions drug are the miracle of modern medicine. Science developed powerful drugs to ease extreme pain, mental health disorders, and other conditions. Yet, abuse of prescription medication occurs with ever increasing frequency and can result in addiction, stroke, or death. Medications are powerful and not to be used in the pursuit of pleasure. The increase in treatment admissions for prescription drugs, emergency room visits and overdose deaths reflect the startling number of illegal access and abuse of prescription medicines.
Prescription drugs can be broken down into three groupings. These are broad categories under which thousands of drugs fall.
- Opioids: Opiates are used to relieve pain. Most help patients deal with end-of-life pain and pain after surgical procedures. Opioids include morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine.
- Central Nervous System depressants: This group of drugs is larger than the opioid group and has four classifications: Antihistamines, Barbiturates (Nembutal, Phenobarbital), Benzodiazepines (general anesthetics and Valium, Xanax, Halcion) and Non-benzodiazepine (Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata). These drugs referred to as sedatives or tranquilizers slow down the brain activity and are commonly used to treat disorders such as panic, anxiety or sleep disorders.
- Stimulants: Stimulants increase attention, energy, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. They successfully treat asthma, obesity and other ailments. Commonly used stimulants are Concerta and Adderall.
Treatment of Prescription Addiction
These drugs, designed to help treat real medicals conditions, are not recreational tools. Their potency can lead to addiction even when taken as directed by the doctor, but, there is a difference between a dependency and an addiction. Most people using the drug as prescribed will go through slight withdrawal symptoms while being unaware that a dependency has developed. In most cases, a person taking a highly addictive medication is weaned off the drug in the normal course of treatment. However, when other issues remain undiagnosed, people move from dependency to addiction easily.
Addiction is defined as the need to take a substance regardless of the negative consequences. In other words, addiction can occur when a patient takes a medication in ways contrary to prescribed usage. Addiction can occur when a person takes one or more prescription drugs as a way of getting high or feeling calm. Prescription addiction happens across all age groups, with each demographic revealing its own set of vulnerabilities.
Teens can experiment with drugs because of the feelings aroused by the drugs. Drastic alterations in brain function can have far reaching ramifications in young, immature brains.
Implications may be long lasting or worse–permanent. The elderly are susceptible to drug abuse for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is confusion about a drug regiment, and confusion due to multiple drug use.
The power prescription drugs produce on the brain and bodily function, and the resulting withdrawal symptoms when a person ceases taking the drugs, makes detox under the supervision of a physician necessary. The sudden stopping or drastic reduction in quantities of a drug can lead to:
- Heart attack
- Or death
A specialist in addiction medicine can help wean the body off the drugs minimizing the discomforts and treating mental health disorders as they appear.
Once a person has completed detox, he or she must quickly move on to substance abuse treatment. Without treatment:
- Brain alterations
- Life perspectives
- Hanges in motor skills
- Mental health disorders
will lead to relapse and cravings if the drug addiction, mental health disorders, and cognitive behavioral changes are not properly addressed in the detox process. Lapse in a continuum of care makes drug abusers vulnerable to relapse. Moving directly from detox into treatment, preferably not having to change facilities, states, or treating staff reflects best practices.
A multidisciplinary treatment program allows a person immersion in comprehensive treatment. Treatment Alternatives is proud to provide first class substance abuse treatment based upon the notion that the whole person must be treated.
At the time of detox
- A full assessment,
- A treatment plan developed,
- On- going evaluations to monitor and address changes in progress of each client must be conducted.
Scientific research has demonstrated that the longer one stays in the treatment structure, the better the outcomes. Long-term recovery is not an accident; it takes work, focus, and continued dedication.